Today, the roles are reversed: Federer is second in the world rankings while 20-year-old Belinda Bencic occupies 74th position.
The dead mixed doubles rubber was extremely light-hearted, with the Swiss winning in straight sets.
It was the third time Switzerland has won the eight-team event.
"Yes, you could say that", he said when asked if his confidence was higher than at the same time past year.
Bencic added: "I want to congratulate Team Germany for making the final".
"I was young, up and coming and didn't have any idea that my career would go so well", Federer, now second in the men's world rankings, said.
This practice certainly seemed to pay dividends in the first set as the German took it 7-6 via a tie-break following some superb groundstrokes.
With the Australian Open just over a week away, Bouchard said she didn't think her injury was serious.
"It was a tough match, I know that she's a very strong player and in the second set, you could see that she was improving her game", Halep said.
But when Zverev held serve and then prevailed in the tiebreak, the pressure was on Federer to produce the goods.
Federer hurried to save a break point in his first game but otherwise did not have any trouble against the 29-year-old Sugita, whom he broke in the fifth game, and there was no looking back from there.
Federer's victory gave Bencic the chance to seal the Hopman Cup for Switzerland with victory in her women's singles match against Kerber.
The world number four won the first set 7-5, but Kokkinakis rallied back in a big way in the second.
"We were so close past year", she said.
"I'm so glad we made it in the mixed this time".
In the earlier tie on Thursday, the Russian pairing of Khachanov and Pavlyuchenkova beat Japan's Sugita and Naomi Osaka 2-1, with both teams already out of contention for the final.